Monday, June 9, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/9-Jun-14: For dinner I made a half recipe of Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad (web). Quite a good salad, fast and easy to make, but it only did for dinner because we also had sandwiches using the rest of the potted shrimp on ciabatta. A nice, light dinner altogether, and we each had a double chocolate mini Magnum for after.

Tuesday/10-Jun-14: Shopping today. No cilantro and the cilantro in the fridge was way past its use-by date, meaning a replan required for dinner. Which turned out to be ...

Grilled Fish Steaks (Q&E, p66), with salmon. Accompanied by New Potatoes with Cumin (Q&E, p91) and Tangy Green Beans with Ajwain and Ginger (SpiceKitch, p38). All good things that I've made before more than once. Made a pretty plate, but no camera was handy. For dessert with had some vanilla ice cream with raspberries fresh off the cane.

Wednesday/11-Jun-14: Dashing through the TLInd recipe book now. Should be done with India by the end of this week, but I'll have only one dish made. Others will come, I'm sure. These are some of the things that struck me from what I've looked at so far.
  • Like the coconut-opening instructions on p4. 
  • Impressed with the idea of making 1-1/2 cups of garam masala. Who's got a cup of cardamom pods around? Easy enough to cut back the recipe, I suppose. I've made garam masala, but being lazy I usually get a small packet and use that; if I haven't used it up, I replace it in a year. If I'm making something really fancy, then I'll make it up fresh.
  • Making ghee: they don't mention that the browned milk fats that you strain out can be used on your toast in the morning. I made ghee once in a class and am very happy that it's relatively easy to find, cheap, and keeps for ages at room temp. 
  • There are several snacky things I've never heard of ... chiura, bhelpuris. Wish someone would make them for me. 
  • If all goes well this week, I'll try lamb biryani later this week. Had an itch for a biryani, although I would have preferred a shrimp one. Think the spices might be too different for this substitution. Plus I've got just the right about of lamb in the freezer. Next time ... It is funny to me that there are two lamb biryanis (one with ground meat, one with chunked) and no others (that I've found yet). 
  • Sorpotel - Pickled Pork? Never heard of such. And sounds good too. Onto the list.
Dinner was an embroidery on Chile-Garlic Cabbage (web). Think this was meant as a side dish, but I made it as a main with about 6 cups of sliced Chinese cabbage. Added a packet of tofu (6-3/4 oz), cut in chunks and marinated in a sauce derived from Hagler. Stir-fried the chunks a bit, set them to the side, then stir-fried the cabbage. Added in the yummy sauce with the tofu and stir-fried a bit more. Served over wide rice noodles. Added lots more sambal at the table. Pretty good for a easy dinner. For dessert, some ice cream with crème de cacao.

Thursday/12-Jun-14: Yogurt on overday.

Planned to do a chicken liver thing tonight for a budget dinner for IHCC, but there were none at Leclerc this week; gizzards and hearts aplenty, but no livers. Forgot to replan the meal, so asked Ed to look for chicken livers at Intermarché after choir practice. But I neglected to specify raw ones, so he came back with a packet of cooked chicken livers in duck fat. So I did the best that I could and posted this about it. Served with a bit salad. We were full.

Finished my dash throught the TLInd recipe book today. I'll definitely be adding some more recipes to my short list.
  • I noticed a number of recipes that called for malt vinegar. I don't remember knowing about malt vinegar till I visited the UK and discovered fish-and-chips and malt vinegar flavored potato chips. 
  • There are more recipes for various sorts of raita/rayta than you usually see. I might try some of these since I seem to make the same one all the time. 
  • There are a number of interesting chutney recipes, but no pickle recipes at all. 
  • I wonder how many of the mail-order sources are still in business? I used to shop sometimes at Jamail's and Antone's in Houston, although I don't especially remember anything Indian at Antone's. Jamail's was a high-class grocery and had "everything." Didn't know either did mail-order, but why not? By the end of the 70s when I got interested in cooking Indian, there were proper Indian shops. I loved to go in these just for the smells.
Friday/13-Jun-14: Ate lunch at a restaurant following ophthamalogist visits. For dinner we had our usually lunchtime sandwiches and fruit. In the evening we went to a concert.

Saturday/14-Jun-14: This is (supposedly) the last day for the Indian Time-Life book. Just under the wire there was Shahjahani Biryani, Spiced Saffron Rice with Lamb (TLInd, p40). I made a half recipe with all the spices. The meat was good, but the rice was rather blah tasted too much (to me) of the cream and yogurt in the sauce. (The amount of water for cooking the rice was  not enough, but it was easy to add a slog more.) As go-withs there were  Gujerati Carrot Salad (MJ1, p170) and Spicy Cucumber Wedges (MJ1, p172), both old favorites. No time for an Indian dessert, so we split a Magnum classic.


Sunday/15-Jun-14: Ed was away most of the day for a choir concert. I planned a warm-weather salad, easy to have ready for his return. Too bad the weather didn't stay hot. We had a nice salad anyhow, a halfish recipe of Smoked Trout, Potato, and Arugula Salad (web). Used some of our home-grown lettuce for the salad, along with arugula. For dessert, we broke into our third chocolate bunny. Ed ate all of his half, with ice cream. I ate most of my half and am regretting it.

Yogurt on overnight.

I'm a little bit puzzled about how I'm complete my progress on goals. "Cookbooks" is easy. If I've cooked from and old cookbook or from Nigel Slater, I've done that one. But Foods of the World is hard, since the books run in month and a half overlapping periods. This week, I (finally) cooked from the India book, which was just finishing. Haven't yet cooked from Scandinavia. What do I put below? Maybe I should be showing both "current" books. Hmm...

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 FotW: no; #5 BREAD: 0

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